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Henry Corbin-The Green Light-Part-01

Picture of the green light at Ouessan, France, by Andreas Guyot.


Today’s sharing from the Blue House of HYGEIA is a quote from Henry Corbin’s ‘The Man of Light’, chapter IV, VISIO SMARAGDINA, Najmoddin Kobra. Page 63 to 64. Omega Publication for the 1994 edition. The subject is in line with our evening seminar of the ‘Seven Myths of the Soul’, where we discover Prometheus, as described by Damascius.


Corbin is quoting Najmoddin Kobra:

‘Now, this veil is not outside themselves; it is a part of them, and is the darkness of their creatural nature. My friend, shut your eyelids and look at what you see. If you tell me: ‘I see nothing’, you are mistaken. You can see very well, but unfortunately the darkness of your nature is so close to you that it obstructs your inner sight, to the point that you do not discern what is to be seen. If you want to discern it and to see it in front of you even with your eyes closed, begin by diminishing or putting away from you something of your nature. But the path leading to that end is spiritual warfare. And the meaning of spiritual warfare is putting everything to work to repel enemies or to kill them. The enemies in this case are nature, the lower soul, and the devil.’

And then Corbin writes:

‘To reach the goal, one must first ‘orient oneself’: discern the shadow and where the shadow is. This shadow is composed of three antagonists that have just been named. Spiritual warfare trains one to recognize the enemies, to know them by name, to distinguish the forms in which they appear, and to effect their transmutation. Actually, these various works are carried out synchronically rather than successively; progress and results are correlative: separation from the shadow and the fall of the shadow, manifestation of the lights and of the Guide of light. This exactly will serve as a final warning not to abuse the idea and the word ‘shadow’; the Guide of light is no more the shadow than he is a ‘positive’ aspect of the shadow. This figure requires us henceforth to recognize ‘another’ dimension of the person, not a negativity but a transcendence. Since Najm Kobra’s book is a spiritual journal rather than a didactic treatise, a ‘diarium spirituale’ not unlike that of Ruzbehan, the best we can do is to single out certain of its leading themes; their lines converge. The three adversaries can only be destroyed at the price of an effort that attacks the discordant trilogy of the soul. The motive power to fuel this effort is the light itself, that is, the particle of light, the ‘Man of Light’, effecting the conversion of like to like.

The ‘dikr’, as a spiritual technique, plays an essential role. The spiritual energy given off by the ‘dikr’ makes possible the emergence and ascent from the well; this theme recurs with an emphasis we have already pointed out. The stages of ascent are accompanied by the colored photisms that herald the growth of the subtle organs or centers of the man of light, attracted to and by the supernatural ‘green’ light that shines at the mouth of the well. At the end of this ascent, the phenomena of light multiply, heralding the rejoining with the heavenly Witness, at the ‘pole’. Najm Kobra entire doctrine perfectly exemplifies the archetype of individual initiation peculiar to Sufism’.


More pictures by Andreas Guyot:
Henry Corbin-The Green Light-Part-01

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